York U sets its sights on neuroscience

Medicine has long been the brand upon the brain in the field of neuroscience.

Medicine has long been the brand upon the brain in the field of neuroscience. But a new diploma program at Toronto’s York University aims to change that.

“People are realizing (neuroscience) impacts a lot of other areas of society besides medicine. It does have other impacts,” said Doug Crawford, co-ordinator of York’s two-year intensive Neuroscience Diploma Program.

“(In) education, for example, neuroscience is telling us a lot about how the brain learns. (In) computer science, the brain is a fantastic computer and there’s a lot for us to learn about applying that knowledge to making more sophisticated learning machines.”

The diploma program admits applicants who have already been accepted into a master’s or PhD program in psychology, kinesiology and health sciences or biology. To gain entry, prospective students must submit their transcript, resumé and a one-page written summary of interest, as well as find a York faculty supervisor willing to oversee their research.

“We want to make sure their research is in line with our program — that it is neuroscience-related,” said Crawford. “Clinically, it could be anything from autism to Alzheimer’s, and in terms of basic research, it could be anything from vision to what’s going on inside cells in the brain.”

Matching the wide research base is the variety of working world opportunities student David Cappadocia said exist after graduation. “There are people in the program that want to get into forensics research for the RCMP, there’s someone like myself who’s looking more at a professorial research-type career, and there are some people that want to go to medical school.”

The 22-year-old program rookie said the diploma will give him a more broad neuroscience background, allowing him to apply for more jobs in academia because he’ll be qualified to teach more courses. “One thing that happens in science in general is you get really specialized in one little niche related to your research. A program like this really helps add breadth to your knowledge base, which can help you down the road.”

Latest From ...
Most Popular From ...